Q:

How do you landscape with a red horse chestnut tree?

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Gardeners should plant red horse chestnut trees, Aesculus x carnea, in areas of the landscape where they receive full sun to light shade. The tree is best suited for areas away from pets and children due to its poisonous nuts and away from streets, sidewalks and outdoor dining areas due to the litter caused by the large nut husks that drop from the tree. The tree is hardy in zones five through eight.

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Full Answer

The tree grows a deep taproot as it ages, which makes it difficult to transplant, so landscapers should plant young trees. The tree prefers slightly acidic, well-draining soil. Weekly watering and more frequent watering during extreme heat provide the moist soil that the tree thrives in. Insufficient watering can result in leaves with brown edges.

Though more disease-resistant than the common horse chestnut, this hybrid is susceptible to leaf blotch and powdery mildew. Gardeners should also look for signs of pests, such as bagworms, Japanese beetles and borers, which may feed on the tree.

Red horse chestnut is a hybrid cross between Aesculus hippocastanum, the common horse chestnut, and Aesculus pavia, the red buckeye. The slow-growing tree grows in a rounded shape and reaches 35 feet tall by 35 feet wide. The tree produces large, dark green deciduous leaves and red flowers in the spring.

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